Idukki(Ker): After coming under fire for his sexually-coloured remarks against Congress leader Rahul Gandhi, former MP Joyce George on Tuesday withdrew his comments and expressed regret publicly, even as the national party demanded his arrest while the ruling CPI(M) distanced itself from the slur.
Attacking the opposition Congress-led UDF and Rahul Gandhi in particular, George had earlier said Gandhi would visit only women’s colleges and the girls should be “cautious” while dealing with the former Congress President. “Girls never bend down in front of him… he is an unmarried trouble maker,” he alleged.
However, he later apologised for his remarks. “I hereby unconditionally withdraw the inappropriate remarks made by me while addressing an election rally in Irattayar here on Monday. I also express regret over that,” he said while speaking at a meeting in Kumaly in this high range district.
Sensing that the objectionable remarks would give the opposition ammunition to target them during campaigns in the poll-bound state, the CPI(M) was quick to reject George’s comments.
Distancing himself from the comments, Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan said the LDF’s stand is not to personally attack Gandhi.
“We will oppose him politically not personally,” Vijayan told reporters in Kasaragod on Tuesday.
Meanwhile, the Congress leaders were up in arms against George’s obscene statements against Gandhi.
Leader of Opposition Ramesh Chennithala termed the sexually coloured remarks against Gandhi as “unfortunate and unacceptable.” He said, “A case should be registered against him and he should be arrested.”
KPCC chief Mullappally Ramachandran and former chief minister Oommen Chandy lashed out at the former MP and said the remarks were “highly deplorable” and “unacceptable.”
“Joyce George has actually insulted womanhood through the comments. He should apologize publicly,” he said.
Ramachandran urged the Left women leaders to criticise their former independent MLA and initiate legal action against him.
Member of Parliament and Youth Congress leader Dean Kuriakose said George might have spoken about his own character. “The vulgarity within him has come out now. What is his merit to criticise Rahul Gandhi? He is trying to follow the footsteps of power minister M M Mani, known for making such derogatory comments,” he said.
Kuriakose said through the comments, the former MP had not only insulted Gandhi but also the girl students. He also said he would soon lodge a complaint with the Election Commission against George in this connection.
Activists of Mahila Congress and Youth Congress leaders took out a protest march in the state capital against the objectionable remarks made by George.
However, minister M M Mani justified George and said he had not made any anti-women remarks and only criticised Rahul Gandhi.